Russia's Kemerovo governor quits over shopping centre fire
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Apr 02, 2018,
Apr 02, 2018, 2:12
"All of us are surviving an bad disaster that happened in Kemerovo on March 25".
Tuleyev, who had been at the helm of the key coal-mining region since 1997, said he could no longer remain at his post with "such a heavy burden" and added that his resignation was "the only right choice".
"Aman Tuleyev said in a video address that he had done his best as the head of the region and once again expressed his profound condolences to the relatives of the Zimnyaya Vishnya" mall fire victims.
The official death toll stood at 64, but protesters said they believed the number was higher.
In a meeting with Putin about the deadly fire, the governor said there were only around 200 people at the demonstration when, in fact, thousands had shown up.
Chanting slogans such as "the truth", protesters at Tuesday's demonstration demanded the resignation of Tuleev.
Six people have been arrested in the case, including the head of the regional construction inspection agency when the shopping center was developed in a former candy factory, and the general director of the company that owns the mall.
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Some parents lost all their children, and the youngest victim was a two-year-old toddler.
Investigators found last week that fire exits in the mall were blocked, the alarm system was broken and the public address system was not switched on.
During the rally, Tsivilyov suggested that a man who lost his sister, wife, and three children in the fire was engaging in self-promotion.
Putin's 18 years in power as president or prime minister have been marked by deadly disasters that are frequently blamed on corruption and carelessness.
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